Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 22, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
Wednesday, April 21
The Metropolitan Opera: La Fille du Régiment
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is the Met's 2019 mounting of La Fille du Régiment, Gaetano Donizetti's beloved romantic comedy about an orphan girl raised by French soldiers who ends up falling for a rebel. The production stars Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena and Maurizio Muraro, and Oscar-nominated actress Kathleen Turner makes a non-singing cameo as the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Ballet Hispánico: Stages
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Ballet Hispánico presents a 1992 performance of Stages, choreographer Graciela Daniele's tribute to the company's founder, Tina Ramirez, which chronicles her development as a mover and shaker. Stick around for a post-performance Q&A with Ballet Hispánico's current artistic director, Eduardo Vilaro, and a trio of former company members. Watch for free on the dance company's Facebook page.
New Normal Rep: Two Sisters and a Piano
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, New Normal Rep presents Two Sisters and a Piano by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, about two sisters under house arrest in Cuba in 1991. Maria Celia is a writer whose works led to the pair's imprisonment, and Sofia is a pianist. Passion and politics collide when the lieutenant assigned to the sisters' case visits their home. Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent) and Gary Perez originally appeared in this drama at Off Broadway's Public Theater in 2000. For this digital production directed by the playwright, they're joined by Jimmy Smits (L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, God of Carnage) and Florencia Lozano. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 23.
New York Theatre Workshop: The In Between of Fullness
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, New York Theatre Workshop continues its innovative digital season with a one-night performance of The In Between of Fullness, a multimedia meditation on race and racism created and performed by the People's Theatre Project's Luna Ensemble, which is entirely made up of emerging immigrant artists ages 17 to 24. Hear what Gen Z has to say about the way forward. The hour-long piece is followed by a 20-minute facilitated discussion. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Fanciulla del West
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Fanciulla del West, a rootin'-tootin' romance set during the California Gold Rush, as a charming outlaw wins the heart of a gun-toting saloon owner. Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani headline this 2011 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Clemenza di Tito, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: TikTok Stars
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome TikTok musical makers to Stars in the House. If you saw Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, you know that the next generation of Broadway songwriters may come from this insanely popular social media platform. Tonight, Emily Bear and Abigal Barrow, the creators of the viral smash Bridgerton the TikTok Musical, chat with three-time Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin, a TikTok star in his own right, and two-time Tony winner Christine Baranski. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Thursday, April 22
TDF: Rock of Ages Stars in Conversation
On Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, TDF presents a hilarious conversation with former Rock of Ages costars Mitchell Jarvis and Adam Dannheisser. The actors started with the hair-metal jukebox musical when it premiered Off Broadway in 2008, with Dannheisser playing Dennis Dupree, owner of LA's raucous The Bourbon Room, and Jarvis portraying narrator, charmer and Shakespearean-style fool Lonny. When the musical transferred to Broadway, the guys and their zany shtick went with it. Now these head-banging BFFs are reuniting on our Facebook page to chat about the Rock of Ages all-star concert streaming this Saturday. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page.
Lincoln Center Theater: The Royale
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Lincoln Center Theater shares a recording of The Royale, Marco Ramirez's powerful pugilist play inspired by the real-life experiences of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion. Rachel Chavkin won a well-deserved Obie Award for her visionary direction of the show at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 2016, and Khris Davis earned kudos for his breathtaking performance as a boxer who's always fighting—even outside the ring. Montego Glover, John Lavelle, McKinley Belcher III and Clarke Peters costar. Register on Broadway on Demand to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 16.
A Letter to Harvey Milk
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, catch the uplifting musical A Letter to Harvey Milk about an unexpected friendship between a widower and a writing teacher that inspires them to confront long-standing issues with humor and heart. The show was well-received Off Broadway in 2018. This digital reimagining reunites original stars Adam Heller, Cheryl Stern and Julia Knitel. Evan Pappas once again directs. Tickets start at $10 and the recording is viewable until Sunday. Proceeds benefit The Actors Fund and HIAS.
The Metropolitan Opera: Simon Boccanegra
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: Tito Capobianco's dramatic 1984 production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Sherrill Milnes as the conflicted title character, Anna Tomowa-Sintow as his long-lost daughter and Vasile Moldoveanu as his sworn enemy. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Fanciulla del West, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: ER Reunion
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, it's an ER reunion on Stars in the House. Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome more than a dozen original cast members of the groundbreaking medical drama, including Broadway vets Gloria Reuben, Laura Innes, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, Paul McCrane. CCH Pounder, Ming-Na Wen and Yvette Freeman. Don't worry, George Clooney will be there, too. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to the Waterkeeper Alliance are encouraged.
The Joyce Theater: Parsons Dance
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with a program from Parsons Dance, featuring the world premiere of Chanel DaSilva's On The Other Side alongside classics from the troupe's 35-year history. Tickets are $24 and the recording is viewable until Wednesday, May 5.
San Francisco Ballet
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, California's acclaimed San Francisco Ballet presents a trio of archival recordings: artistic director Helgi Tomasson's neoclassical work 7 for Eight; Cathy Marston's Snowblind inspired by Edith Wharton's novella Ethan Frome; and David Dawson's physically demanding Anima Animus. Tickets are $29 and the recording is viewable until Saturday, May 15.
Available to Watch Both Days
The Shows Must Go On!: The Car Man
The Shows Must Go On! presents Matthew Bourne's The Car Man, the visionary choreographer's dazzling dance tribute to film noir. Set in a small-town greasy spoon in the '60s Midwest, this tale of lust, adultery and murder fuses Georges Bizet's score for Carmen with plot points from the classic movie The Postman Always Rings Twice. Christopher Trenfield, Zizi Strallen, Dominic North, Kate Lyons and Alan Vincent star in this cinematic spectacle, which was filmed live on stage at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2015. Watch for free until Friday at 2 p.m. ET on YouTube.
Mint Theater Company: A Picture of Autumn
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents A Picture of Autumn, N.C. Hunter's Chekhovian drama about a once prosperous family fallen on hard times. The play had one performance in 1951 in London and then languished in a drawer until The Mint gave the show its US premiere in 2013. This is a recording from that run, directed by Gus Kaikkonen and starring Helen Cespedes, Christian Coulson, Barbara Eda-Young, Katie Firth, Jonathan Hogan, George Morfogen, Paul Niebanck, Kraig Swartz and Jill Tanner. Watch for free until Sunday, June 13 on the Mint's website by clicking on the photo and entering your email address, no password required. Donations are encouraged and closed captions are available. You can still watch The Mint's mounting of Yours Unfaithfully until Sunday, May 16.
Mark Morris Dance Group: L'Allegro Week
All this week, Mark Morris Dance Group presents interviews, classes and activities inspired by the namesake choreographer's masterpiece L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, his utopian vision of life and art. You can also stream the classic for free on Stage Access. There is separate registration for the complementary events on the company's website.
Dixon Place: MINE
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, downtown's invaluable Dixon Place presents Shayna Strype's surreal dramedy Mine, which will be performed in person at the theatre and also streamed to an at-home audience. Fusing puppetry, projections and stop-motion animation, this solo show explores the aftermath of a family's divorce, as the lonely house, their discarded belongings and a hoarding groundhog sift through their history. Tickets start at $12.
MasterVoices: Myths and Hymns
MasterVoices presents Love, the third installment of the four-part theatrical song cycle Myths and Hymns by Light in the Piazza Tony winner Adam Guettel. Inspired by Greek myths and 19th-century Presbyterian hymns, the 1998 work explores the nature of faith and longing in our secular society. The first two chapters, Flight and Work, were released earlier this year and can be streamed for free on YouTube. This third collection of multimedia musical shorts stars Tony winner Victoria Clark, Waitress's Drew Gehling, West Side Story's Shereen Pimentel, Broadway favorite Cheyenne Jackson, Disney star Dove Cameron and others. Watch for free on MasterVoices' YouTube channel; the final installment will be released on Wednesday, May 26.
Manhattan Theatre Club: Neat
Manhattan Theatre Club continues its Curtain Call series spotlighting important plays from its past with a reading of Neat. This autobiographical coming-of-age tale by the multitalented Charlayne Woodard examines the impact of racism on her family, notably her disabled aunt Neat. MTC presented the play back in 1997 and Woodard reprises her critically acclaimed performance, complemented by original music by Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link. The recording is viewable until Sunday and closed captions are available.
WP Theater: Weightless
WP Theater wraps up its digital spring season with Weightless, a theatrical rock musical by married duo The Kilbanes inspired by the ancient myth of devoted sisters Philomela and Procne from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Helmed by Tamilla Woodard, Yale Repertory Theatre's newly appointed resident director, and filmed outdoors in the Bay Area, this production is a multimedia hybrid of live concert, storytelling and visual art. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish. The recording is viewable until Sunday, May 30.
TheaterWorks: The Sound Inside
TheaterWorks in Hartford presents a digital reimagining of The Sound Inside, Adam Rapp's enigmatic Tony-nominated play about an ailing literature professor who forms an unexpected relationship with a precocious but mysterious student. Maggie Bofill and Ephraim Birney star in this twisty two-hander, which was directed by Rob Ruggiero and Pedro Bermudez. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Friday, April 30 and ASL interpretation is available.
The Joyce Theater: Ephrat Asherie Dance: Odeon
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Odeon, a buoyant new work from choreographer Ephrat Asherie fusing breaking, hip-hop, house and vogue, set to music by 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth. Filmed on the Joyce stage, the performance features a group of dynamic dancers accompanied by live musicians. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 28.
John Cullum: An Accidental Star
Two-time Tony winner John Cullum reflects on his 65-year career in An Accidental Star. He'll croon songs from the shows he's known for, such as Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, The Scottsboro Boys and Urinetown, and share never-before-heard stories about working with stars like Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Coproduced by three theatres he has longstanding relationships with—The Vineyard Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House and Irish Rep where it was filmed—this intimate and inspiring solo show is a must-see for theatre history buffs. Tickets start at $28.75 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Thursday, May 6.
Molière in the Park: pen/man/ship
On Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Molière in the Park, which usually mounts productions by its namesake playwright in Prospect Park, presents pen/man/ship, its first new play. Written by Christina Anderson and helmed by the company's artistic director Lucie Tiberghien, the drama is set in 1896 and centers on a young Black woman who flees the American South by boarding a ship to Liberia. But liberation turns out to be a rocky journey. Crystal Lucas-Perry and Kevin Mambo headline this production, which is performed live online. Tickets are required to receive the free viewing link.
Out of the Box Theatrics: The Last Five Years
On Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, Jason Robert Brown's musical dissection of a romance, The Last Five Years, has proven to be a pandemic favorite, with multiple productions in the UK and stateside. It makes sense since the two-hander is about disconnection, as the man tells his side of their love story chronologically while the woman recalls their relationship in reverse. This digital reimagining of the show was coproduced by Out of the Box Theatrics and Holmdel Theatre Company and filmed inside a New York City apartment, giving it an air of verisimilitude. Nasia Thomas and Nicholas Edwards star as the ill-fated couple, and celebrated musical director Jason Michael Webb helmed the production. Tickets start at $29.
Top image: Jimmy Smits, who's starring in a digital production of Nilo Cruz's Two Sisters and a Piano, which begins streaming on Wednesday evening.